Tuesday, December 10, 2013

family freezer meals #1 - chili

i had so much fun today making a big batch of chili! i wanted something for my friend's potluck tonight that i could also freeze batches of for when baby arrives and making good food for ourselves may not be the easiest!
chili was my first idea.
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for this chili, i sauteed an onion and a couple big cloves of garlic in coconut oil. then, i added cubed turnip and some carrot, zucchini, broccoli, kale, 3 tomatoes, 4 stalks of celery, 1 baby bok choy, a few slices of red cabbage, and a can of mixed beans, about 1/2 cup of dried lentils and probably 1/2 a tablespoon of my punch-in-the-head powerful chili powder, a sprinkle of cinnamon and cumin and basil and some chopped fresh basil. let that simmer for awhile and OOOOH i am mighty pleased.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

my pregnancy eats!

i have had no desire to blog lately though i continue to take photos of food and continue to read other people's blogs! sigh!
but thought maybe i should start a post on things i love to eat while pregnant. i had braced myself for comments like "oh, you will crave eggs and steak" and whatever during this new phase of my life, but i haven't gotten those! (i must surround myself with great people! hehe) i did get one comment at work that was "you eat so many vegetables, your kid is going to come out only wanting to eat candy!" which i thought was a little ignorant even as a joke and i replied, "not if she doesn't know what that is!" but i think being vegan is becoming more and more common these days and in general, most people seem to want to eat more vegetables and real foods so i don't think vegan is as confusing to people anymore, maybe?
i still can't believe that i have someone growing inside me (and somehow the 3D ultrasound and the kicking hasn't helped me make the connection either!) and that i will get to meet her by the end of this year! i can't wait to introduce her to so many things and watch her explore and figure out what she likes!
anyways! typically i have had smoothies for breakfast but i can't say i have a routine for breakfast anymore. sometimes i have cereal or toast or even dinner leftovers! this morning, however i returned to a green smoothie!
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this one (serving 2) contains:
- 1 quince
- 1 pear
- mini handful of baby kale
- about 2 shots of BrainOn
- about 1.5 cups filtered water
- about 1.5 cups frozen mango
- 1 frozen banana

i added my daily liquid iron supplement to it (i generally have my iron with orange juice during my work morning break) and i'm set! super yum.

i just finished roasting some butternut squash (and currently eating the roasted seeds that roast just a wee bit faster! yum!) for lunch.

at work, i almost ALWAYS have a salad. nothing different than pre-pregnancy. i never look forward to anything as much as salad! on days that i haven't felt like chopping somehow or market shopping, i hope that it's wednesday, thursday, or friday and that i can get to christina's food cart, culver city salads. her salads are glorious!

i got a cuppow dressing cup for mason jars which makes mason jar salads all that more exciting to eat out of. i have never minded so much having dressing on the salad during transport and pre-lunch but it's still fun to add it and mix it in at lunch.

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 hemp seeds are always a great addition to salads!
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 i was craving corn (organic, duh!) and added some tao cafe raw burger to the top of my salad and oh goodness, it was the most delicious thing ever!
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a delicious garden-fresh potato salad my mom made for me this summer - all backyard or CSA box ingredients except the pickles. YUM!
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yesterday, i bought some sprouted grain wraps (i eat gluten on occasion now, mostly out of curiosity, though it is always organic, whole and/or sprouted) and plopped some collard green, kale, red cabbage, and carrot on top and then drizzled a dressing that i generally have some version of on my salads lately: sprouted chickpea miso, apple cider vinegar, flax oil, nutritional yeast. SO YUMMY!
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dinner is generally a warm grain and bean/legume with steamed veg. paul has been amazing at cooking up something for when i get home around 4:30. such a treat!

so basically with this growing a baby deal and being vegan, i feel extra justified in getting any and every veg and fruit (especially seasonal ones at the farmers market) and i continue buying/ingesting organic food. i am taking a prenatal vitamin and iron supplement daily, but other than that ritual, i'm just trying to eat as many different things as possible and the least processed foods as possible. which is not anything new for me.
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(i love trying new-to-me things at the farmers market, like these "mini watermelons", er, sour mexican gherkins, which are really like sour bite-sized cucumbers! so refreshing!)
i can't get over how easy pregnancy has been and how awesome i feel and how excited i am about the little growing inside me! part of me wants her to stay inside as long as possible as i'm thinking this is going to be the easiest part. but i hope that paul and i will continue to celebrate and marvel in every step of her growing up.
and i'm confident we will.

inspiring dinners! (an excuse for delicious food photos!)

paul's been surprising me with lunches and dinners more often lately and it's been super awesome to get to eat together and also try new things!
the other night, i was craving baked potato styles and we had some sweet potatoes so he steamed them and mashed them and topped them with an avocado/cashew sour cream and coconut bacon and a mary's crackers chipotle tomato pretzel stick! (don't they look like savoury cupcakes?) nutritional yeast (obviously) and steamed veg on the side. YUM!
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and a craving for poutine turned into... (his super yum mushroom gravy with steamed potatoes, green onion, daiya, and peas!)
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and farmers market-inspired dishes like multi-coloured carrots and beets, zucchini, broccoli (all steamed) with mashed potatoes!
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 and more farmers market-inspired eats (with more mushroom gravy!) swoon!
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and, well, who can resist a great potluck/dinner party?
this is my plate from janna and phil's bbq in the summer... some whole foods deli salads and homemade slaw and quinoa salad!
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 and from a dinner with hayz and hanh - veg burger and raw chili and salad!
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black bean veg burgers! aka i started this post probably 4 months ago and i'm just going to post it now.

i wish i started this post back when i had my original link of inspiration. i know the recipe i was basing my burger off of was something like this one and i feel like a doofus for not posting while my memory of modifications was fresh.
paul just finished the last of the stash we had in the freezer the other day and was remarking how much he liked them and gah! could i even replicate them?
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1 (15 ounce) can black beans, drained
and rinsed
1/3 cup chopped sweet onion
1 tablespoon minced garlic
3 baby carrots, grated (optional)
1/4 cup minced red bell pepper
1 tablespoon ground flax
1 tablespoon warm water
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon cayenne
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 slices gluten-free bread, torn into
small crumbs
3/4 cup rice flour, or as needed
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease a baking sheet.
2. Mash black beans in a bowl; add onion, garlic, carrots, and bell pepper. Mix.
3. Whisk flax, water, chili powder, cumin, cayenne seasoning, salt, and black pepper together in a separate small bowl. Stir flax mixture into black bean mixture.
4. Mix bread crumbs into bean mixture. Stir flour, 1/4 cup at a time, into bean mixture until a sticky batter forms.
5. Spoon 'burger-sized' mounds of batter onto the prepared baking sheet, about a 3/4-inch thickness per mound. Shape into burgers.
6. Bake in the preheated oven until cooked in the center and crisp in the outside, about 10 minutes on each side.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

whoa, where is the time going? (plus... a green smoothie)

so, i have many unfinished posts on this thing. what is my excuse? i just had a mostly slower pace for a couple months! now as fall gets ready to start, i am de-cluttering and getting things back in gear. but back to excuses.... i'm going to blame my lack of blogging on baby brain! paul and i are expecting "the little" in december! i'm happy to say that so far pregnancy has been glorious and i have escaped first trimester with minor nausea (that was eliminated with eating) and extreme exhaustion that had me basically comatose after work or napping on the couch so that i would have the energy to go brush my teeth before bed!
second trimester has felt a lot more energetic and i'm hoping this keeps up as i'm heading into my final trimester.
i'm getting myself ready for the unwanted advice and touching that seems inevitable but i feel lucky to have only had one comment of concern about my vegan lifestyle (ie "did you hear about the vegan couple whose baby died?") and i feel really great about my diet and exercise right now! i haven't had any strange cravings. i guess the most surprising to me is that i don't want to eat coconut milk ice cream and raw chocolate as much as i usually do! and i haven't had the same urgency to go to starbucks for my unsweetened soy green tea latte as i have in busy work months. veggie brown rice sushi has been my meal of choice when i'm hungry but can't think of anything i want and in general, i'm really enjoying hunting down new vegetables and fruits to try at the farmers market and eating different grains and beans and legumes. ethiopian food has come up as a dinner craving a couple times though i don't feel like that's specific to pregnancy!
i'm taking vegan prenatal vitamins and while i was taking separate folic acid tablets, i (coincidentally?) did not feel like making my morning green smoothie! too much green leafies?
anyways, i'm finished the bottle and i feel like the folic acid in my prenatal and my food is more than sufficient and i've regained my green smoothie tendencies! hurrah! i'm taking daily iron (spatone liquid iron is my fave) and generally that is just with orange juice or a ginger/orange/frozen banana smoothie but sometimes it ends up in a green smoothie.
i made a green smoothie tonight to get some drinks in the freezer for some mid-morning energy boosts in the next couple work days and it was a nice one so i figured i should post it!
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-about 1.5 cups filtered water
-one nub of ginger
-the tops of about 4 purple carrots
-a few sprigs of parsley
-about half or more of the tops of a bunch of radishes
-one peach
-one pear
-about 1 cup of orange juice

i got everything from the farmers market except the ginger and orange juice. maybe that's why it was so especially delicious!
anyways! i'm so excited to meet the little! but also really enjoying this time that she's been hanging out inside me. i can feel her moving around now and it's fun to feel her movements especially when me or paul are talking. i haven't had any food aversions so far and figure this means she is going to be super happy and excited to eat fruits and veggies like us! (and green smoothies, of course!)
hope your september is off to a great start and you are still enjoying farmers market goodies! i'm relieved to know ours goes into october as i was worried this was the last month!

Monday, July 1, 2013

the most perfect (and most easy) gluten-free pancakes!

after several fails to replicate a nice saturday morning pancake recipe with gluten-free substitutions, i was quite excited to try a mix given to me in amongst a whole basket of vegan, gluten-free treats! (yes, i do feel incredibly blessed and touched to receive such a perfect gift!)
the mix is by a company i hadn't seen before and i wonder if it's available only in the states for now? called the cravings place, i am convinced they make a wonderful product to have on hand for brownie emergencies and the like (yes, i have also tried the brownies and they were also ridiculously easy to make and delicious!). all of their products are made in a dedicated gluten-free, wheat-free, dairy-free, egg-free, and nut-free facility and they package items containing sugars (ie the chocolate chunks in the brownies are not yet completely beet sugar-based, some products still have cane sugar) separately in the case you are avoiding sugar! most impressed.
the pancake/waffle/biscuit mix contains: whole grain brown rice flour, non-aluminum baking powder (sodium acid pyrophosphate, bicarbonate of soda, non-GMO cornstarch, mono calcium phosphate), vanilla bean powder (vanilla beans, corn-based dextrose), sea salt, baking soda, and xanthan gum. it's not organic unfortunately but i appreciate very much that the corn is non-GMO. and i can't say pancakes are something i make more than once a year so i will forgive myself for the "conventional" production.
i was amazed by the simple, no-fail directions. basically: scoop some of the mix in a bowl and stir in cold water until smooth and desired thickness (ie more water for a thinner pancake) and let sit for a few minutes. i love a thick, fluffy pancake and so i kept my dough slightly runnier than a glop. and wow, they cooked up so fast and they were heavenly light, fluffy things! i put some bananas and farmers market maple syrup on top and finally, i have achieved some gf vegan pancake perfection!
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now, next time i will have to try creating my own recipe!

Sunday, May 26, 2013

1 bean salad.

i hated 3 bean salad growing up, but the other day, i had a craving for it. sort of. no kidney bean desires, but white (cannellini) beans and crunchy vegs of some sort were totally on my radar.

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i ended up with a  tangy, creamy, crunchy and soft mix of all things wonderful:

*cannellini beans, 1 can
*chopped carrot, 1
*quartered sliced cucumber, 1/2
*sliced red cabbage, a couple slices off a whole one
*cubed avocado, 1
*sliced fennel stalk, 1
*minced white onion, 1 sliver off a whole one

*a spoon of sprouted chickpea miso
*a little squirt of dijon
*a splash of ACV
*a splash of omega 369 oil blend

slaw. fail.

do you ever spend extra time to carefully cut/slice/julienne your veggies to make a beautiful salad and then add one ingredient that spoils the whole thing? i think my confusing addition the other day was, sadly, basil. but i'm now thinking also that there were simply too many radishes!
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i spiroolied up some green cabbage, shredded some carrots and kale, thinly sliced some watermelon and easter egg radishes, snipped in strips of several basil leaves and then stirred in my dressing mix of avocado, meyer lemon, a swish of ACV (i added more to my finished salad in the end though), a spoon of sunflower seeds, a splash of water, a small nub of ginger and a small clove of garlic. i had been having strange cravings for corn when i made this and later added a few kernels to top it off. it needed a bit more sweet or something!
paul couldn't eat it.
slaw fail!
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(why do i post? i haven't posted so long and i need to remember to do things differently next time!)

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

raw pesto, minus the pesto.

late this afternoon, after only a smoothie this morning, we had suddenly realized we were hungry. paul thought of using kelp noodles and then i started imagining a raw pesto on top. i looked at food and yoga for life's recipe and realized we only needed to get some fresh basil so i headed to the store.
as soon as i got there, there was no organic basil to be found and the conventional basil, having been kept in the refrigerated produce section for however long, was now all brown and mushy. i figured we could do a pesto minus the basil which would mean something more similar to an alfredo maybe?
so i started making food and yoga's recipe without basil, but using everything else (including the sunflower seeds) but then also added an avocado! yum! then, i checked the cupboards and realized we didn't have any kelp noodles!
isn't it funny how you can start with one idea and change it completely by the end?
so paul went and got zucchini and we ended up with the most fantastic creamy zingy sauced noodles.
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this recipe's a keeper! a finger-licking-the-bowl-after-you-used-a-spoon-to-scrape-excess-sauce-to-eat-after-you-ate-all-of-your-noodles recipe!
i added a fair bit of water because with all the nuts and seeds, this sauce was quite thick. (can't assure you that i measured the original recipe's ingredients! sorry!) so i'm imagining making a spreadable cheeze next time using the lemon, garlic, sunflower seeds, walnuts, avocado, nutritional yeast, rock salt and olive oil. YUM!

raw purple corn chips!

i have been vowing to use the purple corn kernels i've had in the fridge for raw chips for YEARS, i'm sure. i'm actually scared to do a search on this blog as i know it's been way too long.
well, finally i tried it! and i'm impressed.
i used this recipe from rawfullytempting.com and it was perfect.
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first i needed to blend my flax seed into powder and process all the corn. i try to avoid corn in my usual day, though i am a sucker for anita's white popping corn! gah. anyways! i most definitely used organic (non-GMO!!!) yellow and purple corn for this recipe.

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using my vita-mix for processing the corn and such was not ideal, but it just meant i had to take many breaks (as the motor was working overtime) and had to keep spatula-ing the sides to get everything mixing evenly. i really need to get a big food processor one of these days as my mini one is just not cutting it. it is, but not just not enough at once! ha.
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the spreading part, as the recipe states, is not the easiest part. i didn't quite take my time and they are uneven. but now i know that i like the thicker parts better than the fragile thin chips!
but all sizes of chips taste awesome in the red pepper chickpea hummus paul made last night! 

Friday, March 22, 2013

raw chocolate class!

last night i had the pleasure of attending the ever-endearing and entertaining emma's raw chocolate class at zimt headquarters.
i knew NOTHING about making raw chocolate as i tend to mash banana with coconut and raw cacao powder or mix coconut oil with maple syrup and raw cacao powder to fix my chocolate cravings. will i get a thermometer and start getting some actual chocolate creations happening? we'll see. i would definitely document it on this ol' thing if i did!
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emma showed us the slowly melting cacao butter that she mixed with cacao powder at 40 degrees. then it was cooled to 28 degrees and then brought up to 30 degrees to set.
then we made medallions (french accent please) or hearts and such, hehe. then we sprinkled beautiful things on top like coconut, cinnamon, chia seeds, rock salt, cacao nibs, and rose petals and waited for the chocolates to set! glorious!
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please know she has just one more class on thursday, march 28th. so sign up if you wanna take part! i don't know when she will be offering classes again! this is one busy lady!
p.s. i got a sneak sample of a cookie dough she has started and is just waiting packaging for. think cookie dough in a raw chocolate bath? oh goodness! swoon! i haven't yet tried her raw caramel and i can't wait to!!! i'm grateful she keeps the cacao innovations flowing continuously!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

hurrah for days off! (a salad.)

ok, i have salads every day. but something about slowly preparing one for lunch today made me want to post. and, well, jodie mentioning my blog last night and i admitted i have kinda abandoned this guy lately because of my annoyances with photo allowances. i'm using photobucket now and going to roll with some posts while i have the inspiration!
so, today's salad!
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cut up and thrown in:
-several leaves of romaine
-an avocado
-a yellow carrot
-a small handful of pea shoots
-a stem of fennel
-a couple radishes

blended as dressing:
-splash of hemp seeds
-spoon of tahini
-a bit too much filtered water (1/4 cup? would definitely start slow next time)
-a splash of apple cider vinegar
-juice of one lemon
-half a big clove of garlic
-leaves off one stem of sage
-a few chunks of dulse (shells washed off ^_^)

i'm a garlic and sage fiend lately. (on top of my avocado and radish OCD). loving it!

hurrah for cozy dinners at the dinner table!

when is the last time you ate at a table in your home? for paul and i, it was last night! after what seems like months! and we vow to do it way more often. but a big push to actually sit down for dinner is to make a dinner worth sitting down for (rather than a quick rice and veg that we sit on the couch with), which last night was roasted butternut squash, raw chili, ginger garlic coleslaw, edamame quinoa and kombucha (grapefruit sage is my absolute favourite!) with jodie and janna!
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the butternut squash was inspired by a recipe i saw in alive magazine but as usual for me and recipes, i didn't quite follow it. what i did was bake the butternut squash and then blend it with about 2 tablespooons of olive oil and 2 tablespoons of earth balance and 2 tablespoons of dijon and a palm-full of fresh sage and a pinch of sea salt and a small nub of ginger. then i baked it at 400 F for about 30 minutes and then i broiled it at a bit higher to brown a bit of the top because i hadn't added anything (like cheese, like the recipe had suggested). it was smooth like baby food and i liked having it mixed with the other dishes, like janna's yummy quinoa, for texture purposes. it was also nice for a "sweet" change from my garlic-heavy chili and slaw.
the chili is my ever-faithful matthew kenney one (his everyday raw book is worth buying just for that recipe, i swear!) and i had made a raw caesar-ish dressing earlier that day that we used like a sour cream on top (delicious! it was a blend of cashews and water and lemon juice and ACV and sage and dulse and tahini and olive oil and braggs) and the slaw was inspired heavily by ani phyo's chinese chickenless salad (page 161 of raw food essentials, another great book to have around). i did a blend of braggs and ACV and garlic and ginger and olive oil and tahini and maple syrup. paul told me today when he pulled out the leftovers that it really needed some nuts on top which i agreed and the original recipe had called for that.
having time off right now affords me the luxury to relax and take time to make food and i hope this experience influences my working days as well so that i get into the habit of coming home from work and sitting down at the table for dinner after making more inspiring meals with paul. ^_^

Monday, February 4, 2013


on friday, totally uninspired to make my lunch, i threw together my favourite things for a lunch i could look forward to and enjoy:
- sliced field cucumber (skin scraped with a fork first to soften)
- a couple stems of fennel, chopped
- one avocado, cubed
- a couple small spoons of raw, traditional sauerkraut, chopped
- a few leaves of basil, sliced

and i planned to repeat it today so i could get a picture of it,  but i couldn't find any cucumber! so, here it is with zucchini noodles instead. and some radish! still yummy! ^_^

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Wednesday, January 16, 2013

hippie greens. not for the win of all green smoothie drinkers.

this morning's smoothie was some lacinato kale, parsley, arugula, a pear, an apple and two frozen bananas with 3 packets of spatone liquid iron and filtered water to get the liquids up to 1 cup in my vitamix.
when i tried it, i could definitely taste the spice of the arugula and was curious about paul's reaction. he was not impressed and said it definitely tasted like "hippie greens", the side salads ("organic spring mix from a bag") that seem to be the usual at some restaurants. he hates hippie greens! he tried using an apple as a chaser and a banana as a chaser.

i ended up with almost 2 glasses of smoothie this morning. oops. i will not use arugula tomorrow!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

crave conscious

i was just reading about a north vancouver company called crave conscious in the straight and then i discovered a demo in my neighbourhood! yay!
i tried the pear yoga (almond yogurt) drink and found it bitter so i bought a blueberry one to try at home, which i am enjoying while i type this!
i also excitedly bought vanilla almond yogurt (made with just almonds, brown rice, sugar, vanilla and cultures and all organic, vegan, gluten-free greatness!) and a plain yogurt that i'm excited to use as vegan yogurts seem to always be sweet and then you can't use them for tzatziki and other savoury dishes and dips!
and i also bought the cookie mixes (a blend of gluten-free flours and goodies) for triple seed and chocolate chip cookies. i thought i had bought a "dutch spice" mix and figured that was the cookie i sampled (the mix with oil and apple sauce added to it) - they reminded me of enjoy life cookies. i'll have to look next time for that mix! (though it's totally possible i was looking at something else and "dutch spice" isn't one of CC's mixes! ha)
i'm super excited for this local company and to be able to get these products so conveniently!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

smoothies of the day.

i started this post almost 2 months ago which is really frightening! i gave up because i have run out of space on this account for photos as i guess i was using photos that were too large and now i don't know how to go back and make 'em smaller. and i can't blog without photos! so now i'm fiddling with hosting photos elsewhere to use for this thing. and i realize the photos i had for this post aren't amazing anyways. but it's all practice and learning, right?

so, first i had a pic from a morning when i was cutting it real close to missing my bus and took my green smoothie to go. and goodness, was it delicious! it was like a green custard. no wonder my day was so wonderful!
it contained about 1/2 cup filtered water, 1 frozen persimmon, 2 bosc pears, a handful of radish greens, a handful of cilantro and about 5 dandelion greens. need-a-spoon-thick with a mild sweet like vanilla taste!  happiness!

and that night, my dessert was a blended avocado with just under a cup of filtered water and a healthy heap of raspberries. subtly sweet and oh-so-thick-and-creamy. raspberryavocado_zpsc56ff54b-1_zps5806da9f-1_zps16068880 anyways... here's my excuse to post again! happy new year! may this year be full of health and happiness and inspiration and incredible food! ^_^